Many employers think about privacy and security when they hear HIPAA- the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA also gives protections to individuals with respect to their own health information.
HIPAA’s initial focus was on improving the portability and continuity of health insurance for employees. These protections include
- Providing workers the opportunity to enroll in group health plan coverage when they lose other coverage, get married or add a dependent (Special Enrollment Rights);
- Prohibiting discrimination under the health plan based on health factors;
- Prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions if the employee had other health coverage; and
- Allowing the states to regulate health coverage and provide additional protections.
The Department of Labor has a fact sheet for employers and employees on HIPAA protections. That fact sheet can be accessed by clicking here.